Review by: KEN KORCZAK
Most books involving the difficult subject of UFO abduction are frightening, dour, and deadly serious as the author struggles to deal with the agony of a life shattered and eschatological shock.
But not his one.
The author keeps his tongue firmly implanted in cheek. He not only evinces an attitude of whimsy and fun, but displays a sense of humor that’s downright cornball throughout his narrative.
Elitists and snobs might even use the term “lowbrow comedy.”
I have a feeling that would be okay with the author, a man from a small town in Missouri who has enjoyed a long and classic all-American life of hard work, military service, love, relationships and basic middle-class success – but a life that from childhood which has been shot through with the intrusion of the UFO phenomenon.
THOMAS L. HAY plays it coy with his readers. How much of this tale is true and authentic and how much is sensationalized and fictionalized? That’s the deal he has struck with his audience. You’ll never really know for sure. If you become irritated with Mr. Hay’s unrelenting attitude of playful whimsy and rapid-fire wisecracking as you read – well, I suppose you can always stop reading any time you want to.
It all makes for an usual offering in the realm of UFO literature. I have feeling that some readers will think that Mr. Hay has broken the mold in a successful way, while others will think this is just broken.
Here’s my meta-observation: I have the impression that Thomas Hay is a person who may have experience encountered some kind of genuine UFO/alien phenomenon during his life. The first chapters telling of his childhood growing up in a small Midwestern town have a certain ring of authenticity about them. When he tells of an abduction experience as a teenager, I get a strong intuitive impression that this might have been something that really happened to him – but it almost doesn’t really matter.
With THE ABDUCTION CHRONICLES, Thomas Hay is not trying to convince anyone of anything one way or the other. Completely without pretension or phoniness, the author has cobbled together a kind of farcical vaudeville version of a close-encounters tale with a strong dash of soap opera melodrama — and then finished out with elements of science fiction thriller overtones.
The book works best for me when the author stays close to the plausible effects the UFO abduction phenomenon has on life, work and relationships – but when he ventures into large portions of the narrative that are clearly fictional, it too often devolves into pure zany farce – perhaps purely for the sake of having some fun with a topic that is all too often handled with such too much morbid seriousness.
It’s almost as if the author us saying; “Hey, lighten up everybody. If you really are being abducted by aliens you might as well have a good laugh about it. Roll with it. Life goes on!”
Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS
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